“I WAS on the brink of passing out but I had to keep going for Jacob.” 

The relief poured out from fitness coach Farren Morgan, from Rayleigh, as he completed an epic Guinness World Record attempt spurred on by the love for his friend Jacob Hall who has just months to live.

He was 40 minutes into the gruelling challenge as he attempted to complete a half-marathon carrying a 55kg backpack when he first pushed through the pain barrier.

To taste success he would need to beat the four hour time limit set by Guinness World Records and, crucially, the former Queens Guard soldier “knew he couldn’t give up”.  Farren, 37, went on to run more than 21 miles while carrying the heavily weighted backpack to fundraise for fellow soldier Jacob, 24, who has been battling leukaemia since last July.

His world record attempt was part of a £300,000 fundraising campaign launched by Jacob to help him pay for specialist treatment in the US.

Jacob came down from hospital to watch Farren beat the current record of four hours in three hours, 56 minutes and 50 seconds.  He is now waiting for official confirmation from Guinness World Record adjudicators following the half-marathon in Wraysbury Skiff and Punting Club in Egham, Surrey on Saturday. Friend Jarrod Morgan also took part as he filmed the epic challenge, running alongside Farren for support.

Farren, who served in the Army for nine years, has called the run a battle of strength and endurance he could not have managed without a strong cause to believe in.

He said: “It is like having a small woman on your back while running, within 40 minutes I was on the brink of passing out but with the cause of doing it for Jacob and the seeing him there, that kept me going.

“When I crossed the line, beating the four hour record by just minutes, I was so emotional.

“I was just in bits on the floor, my brother and Jacob were there and I had all these people supporting me, it was very emotional.

“When I knew I had done it I just lay on the floor, cramp in my whole body and in both of my quads, I couldn’t bend over and the soreness in the bottom of my back was absolute agony.

“However, that feeling of accomplishment, that I had set myself a task and had not had time to train, relying on sheer discipline and suffering without the sake of fitness, was just incredible.

“If I didn’t have a reason, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Farren added that Jacob, from Bognor, was “over the moon” that he had done the run for him and that the world record bid has helped by “motivating him”.

The record is set to delivered to Farren in the next week, when he will be presenting it to Jacob in hospital.

So far, more than £30,000 has been raised to help save Jacob’s life.  You can support Jacob at www.gofundme.com/f/please-donate-to-help-jacob-hall